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Psychology & Law Journal Impact
Note: A previous version of these rankings appears in the AP-LS Newsletter.

Updated August 2018 | Because of the field's interdisciplinary nature, it is difficult to find comprehensive rankings of academic journals geared toward Psychology & Law. These journals are often scattered throughout different "categories" in traditional indices, and most indices only cover a selection of the relevant journals.

On this page is a sortable list of psychology and law academic journals along with different measures of impact. Each measure uses a different method and data source for calculating impact. A full description of these measures is found at the bottom of the page. The measures below are valid August 2018 - July 2019.

This ranking takes a broad view of "psychology and law" and includes journals that 1) are interdisciplinary, 2) contain at least some emphasis on the law, and 3) contain at least some emphasis on psychology, psychiatry, or the social sciences. Although we tried to be comprehensive, we may have missed a journal. If you have any suggestions, comments or questions, feel free to contact us at

Journal Rankings - 2018
(Note: You can sort the list by clicking on each ranking measure)

Rank Journal Title SSCI-IF Change Trend Westlaw
1 Law and Human Behavior 3.23 +.41 +.30 0.21
2 Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 1.89 -.02 +.08 0.40
3 Criminal Justice and Behavior 2.17 +.07 +.16 0.03
4 Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 1.49 -.04 +.09 0.79
5 Law and Society Review 1.63 -.07 +.11 0.30
6 Behavioral Sciences and the Law 1.06 -.59 -.01 0.06
7 Legal and Criminological Psychology 1.84 +.02 +.07 0.02
8 International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 1.28 +.08 +.11 0.05
9 Psychology, Crime, and Law 1.60 +.19 +.08 0.02
10 Annual Review of Law and Social Science 1.18 -.60 .00 0.54
11 Law and Social Inquiry 1.09 +.14 +.09 0.38
12 Journal of Law and Society 0.71 -.09 +.12 0.11
13 Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 0.38 -.62 -.01 0.01
14 Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice 0.89 +.28 +.12 --
15 Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law 0.79 +.13 +.06 0.01
16 Crime, Law, and Social Change 0.66 -.01 +.06 0.03
17 Jurimetrics -- -- -- 0.60
18 Law and Psychology Review -- -- -- 0.37
19 Psychological Injury and Law -- -- -- 0.00
20 European J. of Psych. Applied to Legal Context 3.52 +1.24 +.66 --
21 Int. J. of Forensic Mental Health 0.67 -.69 -- --

Scatterplot of Impact Factors - 2018

The graph below plots each journal's impact factor in the psychology/social science literature (SSCI/JCR) and in the legal literature (Westlaw). Only journals that are ranked in both databases are included. The two reference lines represent the median impact factors across all psychology journals in SSCI and all legal journals in Westlaw. These lines create quadrants that identify journals that are high-impact in both psychology and law, only one of the fields, or neither. (Note: The Westlaw database ranking added several hundred journals in 2017, many with low imapct factors. This has significantly reduced that median IF.)

Measure Detail

  • Social Science Citation Index Impact Factor
    The Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) is the most common source of impact factor ratings. The SSCI is quite comprehensive within psychology and the social sciences; however, its database contains only a limited selection of legal journals and law reviews. Therefore, this ranking is biased toward each journal's impact within the psychology / social science literature.

  • SSCI Change
    This represents the absolute change in the SSCI/JCR impact factor from this year compared to the previous year.

  • SSCI Trend
    For journals with at least five years of SSCI impact factor data, a linear regression analysis was conducting predicting SSCI impact factor from the past five years of data (2013-2017). The resulting unstandardized regression coefficient (b) is reported. This coefficient represents the average year-to-year change in SSCI impact factor over this time period. For example, a trend of +.08 means that a paricular journal's impact factor has been rising by an average of .08 each year. Please note that this is a raw metric -- a .08 change is likely not meaningful to a journal with a very high impact factor, but it would represent a large drop if the journal's impact factor was only 0.40 in the first place.

  • Westlaw Impact Factor
    Average number of law review / legal journal citations articles in a particular journal received. These journals appear in the Law Journal Rankings compiled annually by John Doyle at Washington and Lee University's Law School. The impact factors are calculated from articles that appear in the Westlaw database and are current as of 2016. Westlaw is a comprehensive database of legal journals and law reviews, but it does not contain any non-legal social science journals. Therefore, this ranking is biased toward each journal's impact within the legal literature. Also, because of the different reference groups, these impact factors are not directly comparable to the SSCI impact factors.